China to set up special fund for smog research: premier

Photo:Aly Song/Reuters

China will set up a special fund to pool together the country's finest scientists to find the "unique" causes of smog that frequently hovers over north China's winter skies, said China’s Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday in Beijing.

Li’s remarks came as China has step up efforts to tackle air pollution in recent years. The country has been targeting coal, automobile exhaust as well as dust when dealing with the air pollution issue, which, however, are not all important reasons behind the choking smog, Li cited Chinese scientists as saying.

“Scientists told me during the session this year that they have not yet fully understood the causes of the winter smog in north China, which are quite unique in the world,” he said during a press conference after the closing of the fifth session of the 12th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

In a government work report released on March 5, Premier Li unveiled several measures including  cutting coal use, upgrading coal-fired power plants, slashing vehicle emissions, encouraging the use of clean-energy cars and punishing government officials who ignore environmental crimes or air pollution, to tackle the air pollution and to win the “battle of safeguarding the clear sky.”

China will fight and win the battle against smog but it will take time, said Li during the conference on Wednesday, adding that the “blue sky” will not and should not become a luxury in the future.

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